Finding Elegance in a Cup of Assam

Assam tea is a staple in my stash. No specific vendor, no specific estate— just something labeled “Assam” that produces a consistent, stick-to-your-ribs malty tea, which I dress up with milk and sugar. It’s never been anything special, but it always offers a certain kind of comfort— especially on cold winter mornings. Enter the Harmutty Estate Assam STGFOP (which is just a fancy way of saying “the good stuff”) from Chado Tea. It has challenged every experience I’ve had with Assam tea.

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Five Earl Grey Teas to Keep You Cozy

When I first started my tea journey a decade ago, I was most excited about tasting Earl Grey. I thought this simple blend of black tea and bergamot oil was the kind of thing tea connoisseurs and true tea heads sipped. I was ecstatic when I found a box of Twinings at a World Market! I thought I had found loot, though I would soon discover Twinings lined the tea aisle in every grocery store. My initial perception of Earl Grey is laughable now, but I will always have a soft spot in my heart and room in my tea cabinet for this blend. I find a special sort of comfort in the tea, especially as the temperatures start to drop, so here are five Earl Grey blends I’m keeping cozy with this Autumn.

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Butterscotch Chai from DAVIDSTEA

Following my Celebration of Autumn with DAVIDsTEA YouTube series, I couldn’t resist placing another order with the company to buy more of their Pumpkin Chai and Salted Caramel Oolong. Then, I found myself tempted by several new and re-released chai blends because who doesn’t like warming up with a spicy chai latte when the temperatures start to drop? Butterscotch Chai. Baked Apple Chai. Maple Chai. Cinnamon Bun Chai. How is a lady to choose?

The answer: She doesn’t. She lets her husband choose, and when he selects Butterscotch Chai, she’s quietly disappointed he didn’t choose Cinnamon Bun Chai.

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Five October Favorites

Normally, I am of the ilk that says, “I’m glad to live in a world, where there are Octobers”. But with election day looming overhead, Oliver having more sick days than school days, and always feeling behind the eight ball at work, I just sort of feel…burned out. So burned out that I replaced my tea rituals with cups of coffee because I’ve needed something stronger to power through this month. I always try to sit back and reflect on all of the good things that happened during the month because perspective always improves my mental health, but this month was tough…so, here goes:

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Armchair Travel And Rooibos Cinnamon Apple from Adagio Teas

Love it or hate it, 2020 has been a year of armchair travel. When everyone was stuck at home due to shelter-in-place orders, many turned to sharing old vacation photos as a way to feel a little less cooped up. I have managed to avoid that trend until now, thanks to the Rooibos Cinnamon Apple blend from Adagio Teas, which transports me to an afternoon spent picking apples in Ohio.

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Five July Favorites

I feel like the month of July flew by faster than any other month so far. But, that’s sort of how it happens, right? As the end of the year approaches, days and weeks and months just sort of slip by faster and faster and before I know it, I’m sitting down in front of the computer and typing obligatory year-end blog posts. It doesn’t help that I’m struggling with being present and living with intention. Everything just sort of feels like auto-pilot right now, and I don’t know how to turn it off. So, as usual, I am taking a moment at the end of the month to reflect on all of the great things that happened because sometimes I just need a little reminder. Here are my five July favorites:

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Oh My Darjeeling

I am unkempt hair and peanut butter jeans. Crayon scribbles on the walls and desk and couch. Teetering piles of work and dishes that still need to be put away. Oversteeped breakfast blends tamed with honey and milk are much better suited for me. But, once in a while, I make time to indulge in a cup of Darjeeling tea– a tea that feels so elegant I pull down the fine china from the cupboards and sip from dainty tea cups instead of tea stained novelty mugs.

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Alone Time and Yan Shan Mu Dan

Alone time is fleeting these days. I have been trying to find the time to write about a tea I tasted last Sunday morning, and I finally found it on a Thursday night after everyone else went to bed. I penned this post by cellphone light– the candlelight of 2020. Oliver snored beside me, raindrops pattered on windows, thunder rumbled across the sky, and lightning flashes brightened a dark room. It was a different atmosphere compared to last Sunday morning.

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I Failed Adagio’s communiTEA

While re-organizing my tea cabinet last week, I discovered a bag of communiTEA teas from Adagio Teas. It was dated the week of March 8th through March 14th, and each single-serving packet within was still sealed shut. I remembered I kept putting it aside with the intent to film YouTube videos or take Instagram glamour shots because if a tea is not showcased across social media, was it even consumed? The goal of the CommuniTEA is to bring people together over the same cup of tea on the same day, and I did not show up. I just never made the time for it.

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Since I Never Formally Introduced My Gaiwan…

There are a couple of moments during my tea journey that forever changed the way I experienced tea. The first was circa 2009 when I randomly asked for a tea kettle and tea for Christmas. I was a heavy coffee-drinker during this time in my life (because college), so I must have wanted one just for aesthetics. But, when I received a shiny, red stovetop tea kettle and some Celestial Seasonings fruit tisanes for Christmas, I immediately became obsessed.

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